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Livepowernews.com was the power industry's most reliable source of up-to-date news, information, and analysis. Launched in March 2002, Live Power News provided industry daily news updates, incisive feature articles written by seasoned power industry journalists around the world, and commentary from a team of experts across the globe whose insight and technical expertise are exclusive to this site.

Content is from the site's 2004 - 2005 archived pages providing a glimpse of the news it offered its readership.

 

Live Power News
Steve Heiser
32 Billings Street
West Roxbury MA, 02132

 

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TODAY'S HEADLINES
Thursday June 22, 2005

 

Americans Support Policies To Expand Nuclear Energy as Part of National Energy Policy Bill

By Rebecca Kovar

A majority of Americans believe nuclear energy will play an important role in meeting the country’s electricity needs, and they support policies being considered as part of national energy policy legislation for building new nuclear plants, according to a nationwide survey.

 


Transmission and Distribution: AREVA wins 12-million euro contract with EDF Energy in the UK

By Linton Levy

AREVA T&D has just won a 12-million euro contract with EDF Energy in the UK for the supply of gas-insulated switchgear.

GE Energy Announces Latest Release Of Smallworld Field Information System

By Mark McFadden

GE Energy has announced the latest release of its Smallworld Field Information System product. This latest addition to the Smallworld 4 product suite provides increased access to spatial data across the organization, and introduces integration with GPS technology.

EnerNOC Acquires Leading Demand Response Provider - Pinpoint Power
By Jack Bryar
EnerNOC, Inc., the leading provider of full-service demand response and energy management solutions, today announced the completion of its acquisition of Pinpoint Power's demand response business. Pinpoint Power has been a major demand response market participant in New England since 2002.

EnerNOC Inc. has acquired Pinpoint Power Inc.'s energy demand response business, adding nearly 50 megawatts of capacity in southwestern Connecticut, where bottlenecks constrain electricity supply.

The companies did not reveal financial terms of the deal. Needham-based Pinpoint Power is owned by Thomas Atkins, who becomes senior vice president of EnerNOC.

EnerNOC's and Pinpoint's systems allow corporations to reduce their power consumption during spikes in demand, lessening the chance of brownouts. EnerNOC says it now has more than 100 MW of power capacity under management.

Pinpoint's customers include some of Connecticut's largest employers, such as General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), and Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI).

Boston-based EnerNOC employs 30 people.

 
Research Reveals Spanish Consumers Ready to Trust Their Electricity, Gas and Phone Services to Non-Traditional Suppliers; Europe on Cusp of Following UK Utilities and Telecoms Example
By Walter Gnoza
Almost 70 per cent of Spanish consumers would consider purchasing energy and telecommunications services from their bank, according to research out today from Servista, the leading provider of outsourced customer care and billing services.

Get this Definitive Study of the International Renewable Energy Certificate -REC- Market
By Jack Bryar
Now more than ever, the public is making its preference for environmentally sensitive products clear. It's a revolution known as green consumerism. Symbolic behaviors of green consumerism include recycling, preferential buying of organic products, and implementation of energy efficiency measures among others. This customer behavior has prompted the advent of specialty companies and now it's starting to make an impact on electricity generation.

~~~~

AN ASIDE. I can't tell you how many times I have had discussions with friends as to whether buying this product or that is good green consumerism. The latest discussion regarded buying some new eyeglasses. Is it better to drive or take some sort of transportation other than a bicycle powered only by peddling to an eyeglass frame store or order online. We happened to live far away from a convenient mall or store where one could buy eyeglass frames with lens. It seems reasonable that if one were just getting replacement frames or lenses ordering online might be better, particularly if you already know the type of frames you like. I prefer to actually see what a pair of frames looks like on my face. Fortunately there are some online eyeglass stores where you can up load an image and seem a frame superimposed on your face. But if one had a hybrid car would that be weighted in your favor if you opted to drive to a store?

Let's forget transportation for the moment and just focus on the eyeglasses. Today there is at least one brand that makes eyeglass frames from recycled materials. Eyeglasses.com, an online ecommerce site offers Eco Glasses which are stylish prescription frames that are environmentally friendly. The company, Eco Glasses, is the first and only brand that has produced an optical and sunglass collection made with 95% recycled materials. I have decided that Eco glasses are, at the moment, the best eyeglasses to buy if you are a strong green consumer. Go for it.

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TransAlta to begin negotiations with Ontario Power Authority on Sarnia
By Jack Bryar
TransAlta Corporation has announced it will shortly begin negotiations with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) for a contract at TransAlta's Sarnia Regional Cogeneration Plant. These negotiations follow a Ministerial Directive issued to the OPA today by Ontario Energy Minister Dwight Duncan.

Itron to Automate Nearly 1 Million Meters at Piedmont Natural Gas
By Luke Stewart
Itron Inc. has announced a contract with Piedmont Natural Gas Company to automate data collection from 945,000 natural gas meters for the Charlotte, N.C.-based utility. The deployment is expected to begin this month and finish in October 2007.

3M's New High-Capacity Overhead Conductor is Chosen by Western Area Power Administration to Boost Electricity Transmission on Key Line Along Colorado River in Arizona
By Christopher Smith
Twenty-Mile Installation is First Stage of Upgrade from Topock Substation to Lake Mead, Using Existing Towers; Western is Second Major Utility to Apply ACCR as Bottleneck Solution
 
PSI Files Merger-Related Petition in Indiana
By Linton Levy
PSI Energy Inc., the Indiana public utility subsidiary of Cinergy Corp., has filed a petition with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission supporting the proposed merger of Cinergy and Duke Energy.

 



NEWS Articles

Great River Energy Files Resource Plan, Commits to Renewable Energy Objective

By Ed Krasnow

On June 30, Great River Energy filed its Integrated Resource Plan with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The plan, which analyzes the future electricity needs of Great River Energy's 28 member cooperatives, identifies the need to add approximately 1200-1400 MW (megawatts) of capacity over the next 10 years to satisfy an increase in member demand for electricity. In addition to this needed capacity, Great River Energy will continue to add increments of wind energy to meet the state's renewable energy objective.

"We are pleased that our studies show that meeting the state's 10 percent renewable energy objective reduces our overall power supply costs," said David Saggau, Great River Energy president and CEO. "Of course, this assumes the federal production tax credit for wind energy is renewed. As it stands, Great River Energy is committed to the renewable energy objective."

Great River Energy already is ahead of the prescribed schedule for the state's renewable energy objective with more than 2 percent of its energy from renewable resources. Later this year, the cooperative will begin taking power from Minnesota's first commercial-scale, landowner-developed wind farm, making an additional stride towards achieving the 10 percent renewable energy objective by 2015. The project, which is located near Trimont in southwestern Minnesota, will begin delivering 100 megawatts of wind energy to Great River Energy and its member cooperatives later this year.

Great River Energy's system demand is forecasted to grow on average 3 percent a year over the next 10 years. This is one of the fastest growing systems in the Upper Midwest.

"Because Great River Energy's members serve many fast growing communities, we're predicting high growth over the planning period," said Saggau. "We are committed to adding new resources to meet this growth in an economically efficient and environmentally sound manner."

The IRP also outlines what resources are currently available to Great River Energy and how the organization will consider new resources for the future. Great River Energy will look at adding peaking and intermediate resources in 2008 to 2010 and baseload capacity in 2014 to 2016. For these new resources, a variety of options will be considered including gas peaking or intermediate capacity, baseload capacity, power purchase contracts and renewable energy sources such as wind energy.

The complete text for Great River Energy's Integrated Resource Plan can be found on www.GreatRiverEnergy.com.

Headquartered in Elk River, Minn., Great River Energy is a not-for-profit generation and transmission electric cooperative providing wholesale electric energy and related services to 28 distribution cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin serving 1.5 million people. Great River Energy is the second largest utility in Minnesota, in terms of generating capacity, and the fifth largest utility of its type in the United States.

 



 

Capstone Turbine Appoints New CFO

By Christopher Smith

Capstone Turbine Corporation (www.microturbine.com), a leading manufacturer of microturbine energy systems, has announced that Walter "Chuck" McBride has been appointed as the company's Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer effective July 11, 2005.
McBride replaces Karen Clark, who had notified Capstone's Chief Executive Officer, John Tucker, that she is resigning to pursue other interests.
McBride most recently served as Executive Vice-President & CFO of First Consulting Group (FCG), Inc. (Nasdaq:FCGI), an information technology services company.
"Over the past five years, Chuck was instrumental in FCG's transformation from a consulting company to a comprehensive IT services firm," Tucker said. "As a key member of FCG's leadership, the company doubled billable resources, acquired several companies both international and domestic, substantially increased cash and transformed FCG's operating model through aggressive cost cutting and process improvement.
"I feel strongly that Chuck is the right fit for Capstone as we move forward," Tucker added.
Prior to his employment with FCG, McBride served as the CFO for several innovative technology companies including Emulex (NYSE:ELX), Kistler Aerospace, Unplugged Communication and CalComp.

McBride graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in accounting/finance with honors. He earned a master's degree in computer systems management from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is a member of Financial Executives International.
In conjunction with accepting employment with Capstone Turbine Corporation, McBride will receive a 10-year stock option grant to purchase 500,000 shares of the common stock of Capstone Turbine Corporation, 25% of which will vest after one year and the remaining 75% vest on a pro rata basis over the ensuing 48 months. McBride will receive an additional grant of 500,000 shares of the common stock of Capstone Turbine Corporation (subject to certain conditions) after completing six months of employment as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. The exercise price for options granted to McBride will be the fair market value of Capstone Turbine Corporation's common stock on the business day prior to the applicable option grant.

Regarding Clark's resignation, Tucker commented, "Karen was instrumental in many positive initiatives and accomplishments here at Capstone over the last three years. We thank her for her efforts and she has our best wishes for continued professional success."
Capstone Turbine Corporation (www.microturbine.com) (Nasdaq:CPST) is the world's leading producer of low-emission microturbine systems. In 1998, Capstone was the first to offer commercial energy products utilizing microturbine technology, the result of more than ten years of focused research. Capstone Turbine has shipped more than 3,000 Capstone MicroTurbine(R) systems to customers worldwide. These award-winning systems have logged more than 9 million hours of documented operation. An ISO 9001:2000 certified company, Capstone Turbine is headquartered in the Los Angeles area with sales and/or service centers in New York, Milan and Tokyo.  

 



 

Great River Energy Files Resource Plan, Commits to Renewable Energy Objective

By Ed Krasnow

On June 30, Great River Energy filed its Integrated Resource Plan with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The plan, which analyzes the future electricity needs of Great River Energy's 28 member cooperatives, identifies the need to add approximately 1200-1400 MW (megawatts) of capacity over the next 10 years to satisfy an increase in member demand for electricity. In addition to this needed capacity, Great River Energy will continue to add increments of wind energy to meet the state's renewable energy objective.

"We are pleased that our studies show that meeting the state's 10 percent renewable energy objective reduces our overall power supply costs," said David Saggau, Great River Energy president and CEO. "Of course, this assumes the federal production tax credit for wind energy is renewed. As it stands, Great River Energy is committed to the renewable energy objective."

Great River Energy already is ahead of the prescribed schedule for the state's renewable energy objective with more than 2 percent of its energy from renewable resources. Later this year, the cooperative will begin taking power from Minnesota's first commercial-scale, landowner-developed wind farm, making an additional stride towards achieving the 10 percent renewable energy objective by 2015. The project, which is located near Trimont in southwestern Minnesota, will begin delivering 100 megawatts of wind energy to Great River Energy and its member cooperatives later this year.

Great River Energy's system demand is forecasted to grow on average 3 percent a year over the next 10 years. This is one of the fastest growing systems in the Upper Midwest.

"Because Great River Energy's members serve many fast growing communities, we're predicting high growth over the planning period," said Saggau. "We are committed to adding new resources to meet this growth in an economically efficient and environmentally sound manner."

The IRP also outlines what resources are currently available to Great River Energy and how the organization will consider new resources for the future. Great River Energy will look at adding peaking and intermediate resources in 2008 to 2010 and baseload capacity in 2014 to 2016. For these new resources, a variety of options will be considered including gas peaking or intermediate capacity, baseload capacity, power purchase contracts and renewable energy sources such as wind energy.

The complete text for Great River Energy's Integrated Resource Plan can be found on www.GreatRiverEnergy.com.

Headquartered in Elk River, Minn., Great River Energy is a not-for-profit generation and transmission electric cooperative providing wholesale electric energy and related services to 28 distribution cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin serving 1.5 million people. Great River Energy is the second largest utility in Minnesota, in terms of generating capacity, and the fifth largest utility of its type in the United States.

 



 

Columns

My Generation By Stephen Heiser

Campfires And Fuel Cells

Well between the President’s new energy initiatives and spring being just around the corner, everybody has been talking about two things lately: camping and fuel cells, but nobody seems to see the obvious connection between the two.  OK, about now you are no doubt wondering if the nurse is late with my medication.  What could fuel cells possibly have to do with camping?  The answer is everything.

There are a number of camping related gas and/or propane powered devices that will be powered by small fuel cells in the coming years.  Take basic camping gear for instance.  Camp stoves, camp lights, and camp space heaters are all made to run off of small propane bottles.  What if we used those same propane bottles to fuel electric camp stoves, electric camp lights, and electric camp heaters?  Instead of needing to buy three different sizes of batteries to run their equipment, campers would be able to just bring their propane bottles.  They could plug in their CD players, charge up their GPS units for hiking, run their lanterns, charge up their rechargeable flashlights, and maybe even plug in a video game device or two for the kids.  And the best part is that fuel cells are silent and give off drinkable water as a byproduct!  In dry seasons campers can cook without the fear of starting a forest fire.  If the dog knocks over the oil lamp or the propane lamp things can get a little dicey.  If the dog knocks over the fuel cell,…nothing happens!

Now the purists who don’t even bring food camping with them will find the idea of fuel cells on the trail completely anathema, at first.  But the rest of us who are not inclined to starve and get eaten by biting insects see camping survival in a slightly different light.  Those of us with children, like myself, find that the outdoors is a lot more peaceful and serene when my raccoon children are not so bored that they are actually inventing new ways to terrorize their parents.  Anyone people that bring flashlights camping cannot ethically turn up their noses at fuel cells on the trail.  And anyone that really loves the outdoors and hates forest fires would be an idiot if they didn’t urge John and Martha Q. Public to bring their fuel cells along on the annual camping trip.  They are much safer than camp fires at many camp sites around the country.

Fuel cells will probably first catch on with the RV crowd.  That way the RV families can enjoy all of the comforts of home without needing to run a generator that sounds like a lawnmower.  This will ensure harmony at the campsite and mitigate the possibility that angry campers will stuff a hornets nest into the vehicle’s exhaust pipe.

The second wave will probably involve emergency equipment at remote campsites.  Emergency phones that are both cellular and fuel cell powered need neither wires or a means to charge batteries.  Remember that Batteries slowly drain but fuel can be stored in a fuel cell for ages.  Another item becoming much, much more common these days is a portable defibrillator.  These devices are self-serve, (easier to use than a self-serve gas pump) light-weight, compact, and are showing up everywhere from shopping malls to airplanes.  What is critical, however, is that these devices save lives.  So who wants to see a cell phone station and a defibrillator out on the trail?  ANYBODY who needs one!

Getting back to nature, while being very healthy, can actually be dangerous for some people.  Exposure, snake bites, bee stings (if you are allergic), and air pressure drops at high altitudes can be serious risks for some people.  New technology means that they can now enjoy the wilderness too.  In addition, fuel cell equipment can be life saver for cold weather camping.  Search teams can find and rescue people more easily, and by product heat and water can keep people alive until help arrives.  Remember when GPS was just for the military?  Now I see units at every camping store I go to!

The last wave will be where the real money is for the industry, comfort and entertainment.  Fuel cells will run lights, music, stoves, radios, GPS units, video cameras, communications gear, laptop computers, video games, and refrigeration.  The kids can even sing campfires songs into an amplifier (hey no technology is perfect).

So who knows? Maybe some of us will start next year’s fourth of July weekend driving our fuel cell SUVs to our campsites and plugging in our camping gear into our Eddie Bauer fuel cells.  I wonder if it is possible to toast marshmallows with residual fuel-cell by-product heat?


Well Here We Go Again

Well anyone who has been reading my stuff for the past few years knows that I am a very outspoken critic of the mainstream media. In my opinion the mainstream media should NEVER be looked upon as a source of legitimate information for the following three areas:

  • Energy
  • Politics
  • Anything else

So it should come as no surprise to me that The Wall Street Journal has done yeoman’s work with regard to misinforming the public. In addition, this effort is nothing if it is not consistent. The Journal’s reporting of energy issues is typically incorrect and in many cases diametrically opposed to any real facts (though this may be purely coincidental).


ESCOs, ESCOs, ESCOs

Many People in this industry are chagrined by the fact that they are less than clear about the definition of the energy services company or (ESCO). The term energy services company to people within the industry is actually about as meaningless as the term information superhighway is to people working in the online industry. However, to people not working in this industry or that, this meaningless expression can produce huge returns for consumers, suppliers, and business to business vendors alike.


Why Do Power Companies Love Little Fuel Cells? Because they have all bought gas companies, or will.

In case you’ve missed the latest developments involving fuel cells over the past few months, let me bring you up to speed. Two major developments have changed the course of the fuel cell market both in terms of technology as well as in terms of economics. Now these two events are going to elicit a very unexpected reaction from the major electric companies. That reaction will be excitement and unbridled support.


Who is Subsidizing Whom?

I was enjoying a potlock dinner at a local school recently when I made the acquaintance of a consultant who specializes in the energy industry. Now before I proceed I need to make two things very clear.

  • I was not crashing the potlock dinner, my family and I were participants
  • I do not go to local school events in search of material for my columns


Still, while talking to this very likeable and congenial person, I found that even people who make their living in the energy industry can be quite misinformed about certain aspects of it.  Now to be fair, I must tell you that this person was not a specialist in nuclear power.  Rather, he was quite focused on the statistical analysis of performance contracting.  All good stuff.  However, he was quite misinformed about the economics of nuclear power in the United States and about just what can be called a subsidy.

Now critics of the nuclear power industry have frequently claimed that the federal government unfairly subsidizes it, and point to stranded-costs recovery as the latest proposed subsidy. But closer examination does not validate this claim; in fact, the reverse may be true.

The purpose of a subsidy is to make equal or flatten out a situation that would otherwise greatly favor some participants but not others.  These days, the definition of subsidy has been expanded to refer to the promotion of a private enterprise with public money.  Is this the situation with the federal government and the nuclear power industry?  Critics of the nuclear power industry claim that the government is bailing out the nuclear industry with direct subsidies and through the recovery of stranded costs during deregulation.

A subsidy is the use of public money for private enterprise; funds directed at the DOE for scientific research cannot be considered a subsidy of nuclear power.  However, public funds used in public labs to research improved photo voltaic cells and wind turbines cannot be considered subsidies either.

My research into the matter uncovered a few surprising points that I did not know about stranded cost recovery.  First of all, most of the Wall Street analysts' reports on the electric utility industry and stranded cost revealed that only about a third of the stranded costs burdening utilities are nuclear related.  It seems that the other two thirds come from other obligations.  These include items like low income assistance, renewable energy commitments, forced contracts to buy certain types of power, and forced contracts to buy power from certain types of providers.  The next lesson in my education involved what types of stranded costs could legitimately be recovered.  Some critics would have their readers believe that the major utilities went off on an irresponsible spending spree for nuclear power and now want to get all of the money back that they carelessly squandered.  However, the truth is a bit more sober.  In order for any power company to file for recovery of stranded costs, those costs had to be judged as being both used and useful by a state public utilities commission.

Still, further research produced some surprising results.  Rather than being subsidized by the federal government, nuclear plants are actually being denied access to programs open to all other forms of power generation.  These are programs that are used to level the playing field and programs that are used to subsidize.  Specifically, nuclear plants are not permitted to participate in emissions credits trading. If nuclear plants were allowed emissions credits for SO2, they would be able to raise $60 million in credits every year.  Instead they are actually being denied a subsidy for something they don’t do, emit sulfur dioxide.  In addition, the nuclear industry is the only power industry that has internalized all of its operating costs, including waste disposal and decommissioning.

So what could be worse than being locked out of a subsidy that all of the other generators can take advantage of, how about paying into a federal energy program and not seeing the all of the funds allocated.  Users of power sourced from nuclear plants pay 1/10th of a cent per kWh.  This money goes to the federal government so that they can live up to their obligation to build a site for waste storage.  As this is money paid by the customers to the utilities, this is a consumer-funded program and not a tax-based program.  Remember that subsidies are public money used for private enterprise.

This is a case of private money going into a public coffer.  However, in this case the money being allocated does not equal the amount being collected.  The DOE $625 million in consumer payments to the Nuclear Waste Fund for FY99. But Congress appropriated only $165 million in consumer funds for waste management in FY 99. Now nuclear defense programs' contribution to waste management in FY99 is $189 million, bringing the total to $358 million. Nonetheless, defense programs are a couple of billion behind in money owed to the government's waste management program.

So rather than the nuclear power industry being subsidized by the federal government, it appears that for all intents and purposes the nuclear power industry is subsidizing the federal government.  And the federal government turned a profit recently.


Flywheels and EVs

I got a letter recently from a reader asking me about flywheel batteries and what was happening to find applications for these batteries in electric vehicles (EVs). I was able to steer the person that wrote the letter to some sources of information so that he could get current with the technology and see what companies are currently buying in. What got me thinking, however, was whether there would ever be any real future for electric vehicles driven by batteries. The letter also got me wondering about whether the real benefits of all of this EV research would even be in the EVs themselves.


Can Opposites Attract?

It has been said many times that your enemy in the past war will be your ally in the next. While this fundamental truth has already been proven in the battlefields of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America, it remains to be seen whether or not the electric power industry will be the exception that proves the rule.

 


 

Fitch: U.S. Public Power Sector Shows Credit Stability in Q2

By Jack Bryar

Fitch Ratings has published its Public Power Quarterly newsletter which summarizes the rating actions of Fitch rated U.S. public power credits through the second quarter of 2005. During the six months ended June 30, 2005, Fitch's Public Power group took 33 rating actions involving 26 public power credits. The actions consisted of 19 ratings affirmations, assignment of seven new ratings, and one upgrade and one downgrade. Also, Fitch revised the Rating Outlook on five credits (one revision to Negative, three revisions to Positive and one revision to Stable).

The quarterly newsletter also summarizes the current status and distribution of Fitch's ratings on 140 underlying public power credits. In addition, the newsletter lists credit and industry reports recently published, including the 'U.S. Public Power Peer Study and Selected Highlights,' the updated public power rating guidelines and Fitch's perspective on the effect of existing hydro conditions on credit ratings and the municipalization of electric systems.

The Fitch newsletter 'Public Power Quarter,' dated July 2005 is available on the Fitch Ratings web site at www.fitchratings.com in the 'Public Power' section under 'Newsletter.'

Fitch's rating definitions are available on the agency's public web site, www.fitchratings.com. Published ratings, criteria and methodologies, and relevant policies and procedures are also available from this site, at all times. This document will remain on the public site for seven days

 


 

Cummins Executive Expresses Company Support for Diesel Emissions Reduction Act; Urges Strict Adherence to Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel Standards

By Walter Gnoza

Michael Cross, Vice President and General Manager - Fleetguard Emission Solutions, expressed Cummins' strong support for S.1265, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2005, in testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee last week.

The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act addresses the issue of emissions from the older engines that are currently in service and is an effective complement to EPA's rules for on- and off- road diesel engines. The legislation recognizes the clean air challenges ahead of states and communities and puts in place a mandate-free and flexible system to help address these challenges.

The Act provides federal and state incentives to create engine retrofit or replacement programs. The efforts can range from retrofitting engine exhaust systems with aftertreatment devices to installing a re-manufactured engine built to more stringent emissions standards to installing a new engine into existing vehicles. All have been shown to lead to an immediate, and often significant, reduction in NOx and/or PM emissions.

This legislation was crafted in a process, which included the diesel industry and many of the major national environmental groups. Cross said, "Cummins truly enjoyed the months of hard work with our colleagues in the diesel industry and the environmental community. Our coalition's efforts on the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act should serve as a model for future environmental initiatives."

In June, the legislation passed the Senate by a vote of 92-1 as an amendment to the Senate Energy Bill. It authorizes $1 billion over a five-year-period for national and state-level grant and loan programs to promote the reduction of diesel emissions. The legislation is championed by Sens. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), Thomas Carper (D-Delaware), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), James Jeffords (I-Vermont), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), and Hillary Clinton (D-New York) - among others.

Seventy percent of the funds would be distributed by the EPA; 20 percent would go directly to states to develop retrofit programs and the remaining 10 percent would be made available to states as incentives for them to match federal dollars spent on these programs.

Cross also told members of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change and Nuclear Safety that ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel standards set to take effect next year are essential to meeting stringent EPA emissions regulations in 2007 and 2010. Those regulations will reduce the amount of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) produced by new on-highway diesel engines by 90 percent from 2004 levels.

Ultra-low sulfur fuel - diesel fuel with a sulfur content of 15 parts per million, compared to the current standard of 500 parts per million - also will make it possible to realize the full benefits of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act and achieve significant emission reductions in older diesel-powered engines, Cross said.

Cross also stressed the importance of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel to both the effectiveness of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act and the ability of engine manufacturers to meet 2007 and 2010 EPA emission requirements.

Cummins was the first diesel engine maker to offer a full line of on-highway truck engines to meet the current EPA requirements, which went into effect in October 2002. Cummins and other manufacturers have invested billions of dollars to create cleaner-burning and more fuel-efficient engines - and will continue to invest heavily to meet future requirements, Cross told subcommittee members.

The EPA recently offered a 45-day extension to the transition period for introduction of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel to Oct. 15, 2006. With the extension, Cummins believes that every party involved in the 2007 emissions regulations will have had ample time to comply, Cross told subcommittee members.

"Cummins requests that Congress make every effort to ensure these ultra-low sulfur diesel standards are not compromised," Cross told the subcommittee.

Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins serves customers in more than 160 countries through its network of 550 Company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 5,000 dealer locations. With more than 28,000 employees worldwide, Cummins reported sales of $8.4 billion in 2004. Press releases can be found on the Web at www.cummins.com.


 

 

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